Oil firms evacuating Gulf of Mexico facilities ahead of brewing storm

HOUSTON, June 17 (Reuters) – Chevron Corp (CVX.N)and Occidental Petroleum Corp said on Thursday they were withdrawing staff and implementing storm precautions at their U.S. Gulf of Mexico offshore facilities ahead of a brewing tropical storm.

A weather disturbance over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico could become a tropical storm by early Friday and head for the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts, the U.S. National Weather Service said on Thursday.

Chevron said it removed non-essential staff from three U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil platforms and fully evacuated a fourth. Output remains at normal levels, the company said.

“All of our facilities have plans to prepare for weather-related events and are implementing those procedures,” Occidental said on its website. It did not comment on production.

Chevron said all workers were evacuated from its Genesis facility about 150 miles (240 km) off the coast of Louisiana and non-essential workers were removed from its Big Foot, Jack/St. Malo and Tahiti production platforms.

Reporting by Gary McWilliams; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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source: reuters.com